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The Four Books

by Yan Lianke

In the ninety-ninth district of a sprawling labour camp, the Author, Musician, Scholar, Theologian and Technician – and hundreds just like them – are undergoing Re-education, to restore their revolutionary zeal and credentials.

In charge of this process is the Child, who delights in draconian rules, monitoring behaviour and confiscating treasured books. But when bad weather arrives, followed by the ‘three bitter years’, the intellectuals are abandoned by the regime and left on their own to survive. Divided into four narratives, the Four Books tells the story of the Great Famine, one of China’s most devastating and controversial periods. This book was the winner of The Franz Kafka Prize 2014.

It was nominated For Czech Award Magnesia Litera 2014; Hua Zhong World Chinese Literature Prize 2013; Finalist for the Man Booker International Prize 2013; Winner of The Hua Zhong World Chinese Literature Prize 2013; shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2012; shortlisted for the Prix Femina Etranger 2012; shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize 2011; Winner of the Lao She Literature Award 2004; and winner of the Lu Xun Award 1997.


03 March, 2016

About Yan Lianke

Yan Lianke was born in 1958 in Henan Province, China. He is the author of numerous novels and short-story collections, including Serve the People!, Dream of Ding Village and Lenin's Kisses. He is the winner of an array of literary awards, including China's Lao She, Lu Xun and Hua Zhong World Chinese Literature Prize. In 2014 was awarded the prestigious Franz Kafka Prize, whose previous winners include Vaclav Havel, John Banville, Harold Pinter, Haruki Murakami and Philip Roth. He has also been shorlisted for the Man Booker International Prize and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. He currently lives and writes in Beijing.


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